On-line version ISSN 1676-0603
FRANCO, Geraldo Antônio Daher Corrêa et al. Importance of Embu (SP, Brazil) forest fragments to conservation of regional flora. Biota Neotrop. [online]. 2007, vol.7, n.3, pp. 145-161. ISSN 1676-0603. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032007000300017.
The objective of this research was to evaluate the conservation status and the importance of forest remnants at Embu (SP, Brazil) for the maintenance of the local plant diversity. A previous classification of the vegetation cover was made with aerial photographs interpretation in order to guide the selection of the forest fragments to be evaluated. In a quick survey, the floristic composition (focused on tree species) and some structural and physiognomic descriptors were recorded to assess the conservation status of the vegetation. Nine remaining forests with areas between four and 35 ha were characterized, totaling 140 ha. Despite of the short time, 197 species were recorded, being 172 trees typical of the Ombrophilous Dense Forest and some species from the Seasonal Semideciduous Forest. Comparing the tree and shrub species between the remaining forests and the Morro Grande Reserve Forest - conservation unit located next to the study site - 95 species were found in common and 65 species exclusively occurring at Embu forests. Moreover, seven threatened species according to the state, national and world red lists were recorded. Although these seven species were mostly found in the more mature fragments, some were also found in disturbed ones, indicating that even with the massive occurrence of secondary forests, the maintenance of the forest remnants of Embu may help to preserve some species still not protected in the region. The forest can also contribute to protect water and soil resources and to connect native forest patches, facilitating the gene flow of plant and animal species and, consequently, promoting the maintenance of the Atlantic Forest biodiversity.
Keywords : Atlantic Rain forest; tree community; biodiversity.